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Beryl Buckley MILBURN

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MILBURN, Beryl Buckley

Beryl Buckley Milburn, of Austin, passed away in her sleep on Thursday, March 27, 2014 a few days shy of her 94th birthday. She always said that she wanted to die in her sleep, and with the grace of God, got what she wished.

Beryl was born to Edmund L. and Beryl M. Buckley. She spent her childhood in Tampico, Mexico with her three brothers, Edmund, Ross, and Tony, and learned to ride, shoot, and hunt on her family's Santa Clara Ranch on the Tamesi River west of Tampico.

She married her best friend, Malcolm, in 1941, and lived in New Jersey while Malcolm worked at Wright Aeronautical. After the war, the young couple moved to San Antonio with their daughter Beryl "Beri," and added two boys, Malcolm, Jr. and Michael. The family relocated to Austin in 1953 where Malcolm had started Capitol City Steel Company with his good friend Marvin Selig. Malcolm and Beryl enjoyed more than 60 years of marriage until his death in 2004.

Beryl took time from being such a good mother and wife to pursue her love of politics and government. She was a founder of the Texas Federation of Republican Women. She helped build the Travis County GOP from its inception, and ran, with not a small amount of courage, for the state legislature as a Republican in 1958. She organized and was the first president of the Austin Republican Women's Club. The Milburn home was abuzz with fellow Republicans seeking to overthrow the Democrat-run government. She was a delegate to several Republican National Conventions, served as Vice-Chair of the Texas Republican Party, and relished seeing Texas become a bright-red state. She was Co-Chair of the Texas Constitutional Revision Commission. In 1985, she was appointed by President Reagan as a delegate to the United Nations Conference on Women in Nairobi, Kenya. Her grandfather was sheriff of Duval County in the early 1900s, and among her first cousins were conservatives William F. Buckley, Jr. and Senator Jim Buckley.

Her early education began with tutors while in Mexico followed by stints at The Shipley School, Bryn Mawr, Vassar, and her beloved University of Texas. In later years, she served as Chairman of the College Coordinating Board, served a six-year term as Regent of The University of Texas, and was named a Distinguished Alumni of The University of Texas in 1995. While a Regent, Beryl was instrumental in promoting equality for women in the ranks of faculty and deans in the University System.

Beryl was a crack shot. She was still shooting doves and taking bucks on her South Texas ranch, The Santa Clara, into her 90s. She was treasured by her friends for her wit, tenacity, and courage. Beryl loved nothing more than being surrounded by her friends at the bridge table, or over a cocktail and a fine dinner. She thrived on good conversation and could trade jokes with the best of them. She and Malcolm had a large circle of friends, especially the Windmill Hill gang on Lake Travis.

Beryl is survived by her daughter, Beryl and son, Malcolm; her daughter-in-law Valerie; and her much-loved grandchildren, Buckley and Trey and their fiances, Kristopher Morlot and Whitney Kushner. She is preceded in death by her son, Michael. Also, she loved her dear friend Zenaida Parra who was with Beryl for more than 30 years. Her cousins Gail Kelley and Jan Caldwell were cherished by her, as were all the Buckley and Milburn cousins.

Our family's thanks go out to the staff of Westminster Manor where she was treated with much kindness and respect.

Services will be held at Weed-Corley-Fish, located at 3125 North Lamar Boulevard in Austin, on Tuesday, April 1st at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations to Meals on Wheels or the Capitol Area Food Bank would be greatly appreciated.

Obituary and memorial guestbook available online at www.wcfish.com
Published in Austin American-Statesman from Mar. 29 to Apr. 1, 2014
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